A Gothic masterpiece in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Palma Cathedral took over 300 years to complete. Construction began in the 13th century and made La Seu Mallorca’s symbol.
While documents related to the construction of the Palma Cathedral date back to 1230, real work began only during the reign of James II. He handed the lead to Bishop Pere de Morella, who consecrated the altar of the high altar. The new factory, integrated into the Royal Chapel and home to the tombs of the monarchs of the Royal House of Mallorca, was also constructed around the same time. Trinity Chapel simultaneously began taking shape.
The Palma Cathedral began taking shape in the 14th and 15th centuries. The nine bell towers, the largest of which was called Eloi, were completed in 1498. Some years later, part of the Old Work of the Cathedral was concluded. It had two portals - the Mirador and the Almoina. In the 16th century, work started on another part of the Palma Cathedral - the center of the main nave. Around the same time, the constructive completion of the Cathedral was decided with the New Construction factory.
Changes were made to Palma Cathedral’s interior during the 17th and 18th centuries. Baroque, a unique European architecture style prevalent at the time, became the key theme of the cathedral’s interior. Altarpieces, paintings, and sculptures marked by post-Tridentine spirituality had Baroque written all over them: the most stunning piece was the Corpus Christi altarpiece. It is a celebrated artwork in Mallorca and the reference point for the Corpus Christi feast celebrated two months after Easter Sunday.
Palma Cathedral had become the center of Mallorca when it suffered grave damage due to the 1851 earthquake. Restoration efforts were undertaken soon after to bring the monument back to its former glory. Madrid architect Juan Bautista Peyronnet led the efforts in 1851. He based his work on the artificial neo-Gothic style, with the main facade the most striking element.
Palma Cathedral saw further improvement as the years passed by. Antoni Gaudi, the legendary Spanish architect, added his touch in the 20th century to the pastoral demands. Bishop Pere Joan Campins promoted Gaudi’s ideas, with the improvements added between 1904 and 1915. Gaudi’s work helped recover the space of the faithful, the visibility of the choral presbytery, the episcopal chair, and the Chapel of the Trinity.
Palma Cathedral's history is intertwined with the modernist architecture movement in Spain. Renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, who made unparalleled contributions to architecture in the early 20th century, added his unique vision to Palma Cathedral’s interior architecture after it was destroyed by the earthquake in 1851. He added distinctive modernist elements, such as the wrought-iron canopy over the altar and the thorns adorning the baldachin. These blended with the existing Gothic design and enriched the cathedral's historical tapestry.
Palma Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe. It was constructed over three centuries, with the cathedral finished in the 16th century.
The Palma Cathedral is over three centuries old.
It took over three centuries to build Palma Cathedral. Construction of the building started in the 13th century.
James II (1276-1311) sanctioned the construction of the Palma Cathedral.
Palma Cathedral boasts Gothic architecture.
Palma Cathedral stands on the land that once housed Madina Mayurqa. It was knocked down by King I of Aragon to build a large temple for Queen Mary.
Palma Cathedral was built under King James II (1276-1311). In later centuries, it was destroyed by an earthquake and subsequently rebuilt by Antoni Gaudi, a legendary Spanish architect.
Yes, Palma Cathedral has contributed to the city’s cultural heritage. The building’s Gothic architecture served as inspiration for many structures in Mallorca.
Few people know Palma Cathedral has the largest rose window in the world for structures of the same type. It is called the ‘Eye of the Gothic.’
Yes, guided tours explaining the Palma Cathedral’s history exist.
Yes, Palma Cathedral is worth visiting because it is over three centuries old. It has a fascinating Gothic architecture that glimpses into the craftsmanship of Antoni Gaudi and the architects that preceded him.